I'm looking for some assistance framing and planning some coaching for one of my directs. He and I will follow the coaching model and brainstorm solutions together, but I'd like to have some additional ideas in my back pocket ready to pull out if needed.
The skill we have agreed he needs to develop is getting better results faster from internet searches.
Since one of the first things I suggest in solving the "what resources are available" question for coaching is an internet search, well... you can see the chicken and egg problem.
Have you coached a direct on this or a similar skill? What worked for you?
The background story: we're a software development shop. We are constantly developing things that are outside our current experience and knowledge, and the ability to use the internet effectively to learn new technology and solve problems is essential. My direct sometimes finds himself stuck on an issue that I or one of my other directs finds a solution to pretty quickly with a search engine. I suspect a contributing factor is that English is not his first language, more important is that he prefers to learn from people rather than written material.
Is This A Coaching Or A Training Issue?
Are you sure this is a coaching issue and not a training issue? Aren't you hoping he acquires a skill and knowledge (effectively using search).
Or, have you already attempted to train him and this hasn't stuck (yet)? If so, did the training method match up with his learning style? Be aware that the world is full of lousy online training courses so perhaps the fault lies with the course and not him.
Based upon what you've said, I'd recommend a live tutor, not a coach. Someone who is skilled at training, not just Internet search. Here's why, many online skills are picked up by constant repetition while doing other things. For example, both my teenagers learned to type, not by taking a class, but by gaming. That may have been the way you and others acquired your search skills.
Your employee doesn't appear to have that advantage. It's not intuitive to him as it is to you and other co-workers.Therefore, if you have the resources, find someone skilled at training people in developing online skills. Training in itself is a skill. Just because someone is a top sales manager, doesn't necessarily make them a top sales manager.
If you can't find a trainer, see if you can find someone within your organization who is both experienced, patient, and has a good relationship with him. Perhaps an "S" or "I."